What’s the be Have fallacy?

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The week before last I spent two days with an executive team in the UK. They are functional leaders at a large global organisation seeking to re-invent themselves for strategic impact. 

We identified a collective assumption held by the team that I call the Have / Be fallacy ie: that we can only Be a certain way once we Have what we want. In this case, we will Be bolder and more strategic once we Have sufficient perceived value from the business units.

Often in reality it works the other way around. We only Have the perceived value once we find ways to Be bolder and more strategic.

A wonderful coach that I met yesterday, Jen Sheridan, echoed this sentiment. She tells me that an interesting feature of some recent research into highly effective leaders is that they disproportionally engage in ‘mind-setting’.

She described one leader who identifies a single adjective for every meeting she attends, ahead of time, which captures how she wants to Be at that meeting.

Powerful stuff.

In my early days as an actor, we learned that our personal identities are largely fiction, and that in truth, we all contain within us a variety of different personas which we can dial up or down as needed.

With this in mind, adopting a way of Being is not about ‘putting something on’ or faking it. Quite the opposite.

It is about having the self-insight to identify with a broad range of aspects of yourself and reveal these to others in deliberate ways.

Have a great week everyone.

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